Nearly 80 percent of adults in the United States have HSV-1 or Herpes Simplex Virus-1 known as cold sores. 25 percent of adults in the U.S.A have HSV-2 referred to as Genital Herpes. Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is an infection of mucous membranes and skin. There is no cure for either type of Herpes; however, there are many different types of treatments such as anti-viral medications and natural treatments. Many individuals often have Herpes and do not know they have it due to the virus being dormant in their bodies. There is no cure for Herpes and an infected individual will carry the virus as long as they live. Many often wonder what factors make a person more susceptible to Herpes, there are none, except for unsafe sex practices.
A person’s susceptibility to Herpes is greatly increased by having unprotected sex, multiple sex partners and direct skin to skin contact with an infected person. Herpes is spread by coming in contact with the infected site. An infected person with a cold sore may kiss someone and transfer this. It may also be transmitted by a person with Herpes having vaginal or anal sex with someone. Another way of transmission is by someone with a cold sore putting their mouth on their partner’s genitals and performing oral sex. These are the most common routes of transmission. All of these acts will increase a person’s susceptibility of contracting Herpes.
Herpes can be spread at any time. However, it is easier to spread the virus when sores are present during an outbreak. Many individuals with Herpes experience a prodromal period (early warning signs). This is a time period before an outbreak when an individual may have tingling, itching and pain. With time, the individual will become familiar with the prodromal period and will know that an outbreak is approaching. These prodromal symptoms signify that the Herpes virus might be present on the infected person’s skin. Herpes is very contagious from the time prodromal symptoms occur until the skin has thoroughly healed and appears normal once again. Individuals are very susceptible of becoming infected by a person carrying herpes during this time. This makes oral, anal and vaginal sex extremely risky. Intimate contact during this period increases the chance of becoming infected by up to 75%.
Possible Complications of Herpes
Much like there is very few factors making a person susceptible to Herpes, there are few complications of Herpes. Individuals usually develop no further health conditions or issues as a result of being infected with Herpes. One complication is the spread of the virus from one area of the body to another by touching a lesion and then touching other body parts. Eyes, fingers and other areas of the body can become infected in this manner. Those with herpes can easily prevent self infection by not touching any area during and while an outbreak is occurring. If accidental contact happens, hands should be washed immediately. Hot water and soap will kill the Herpes Simplex Virus or HSV.